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Tuesday, 03 Mar 2020

Washington is the second biggest buyer of Kenyan goods after Uganda


Insights Africa

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Economic Outlook

Economic Outlook

  • According to the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), Kenyan exports to the US in 2019 increased at the fastest pace in five years reaching 53%, making Washington the second biggest buyer of Kenyan goods after Uganda. Noting that earnings from goods ordered by the US increased by 4.51 BN KES (44.48 MM USD) reaching 51.85 BN KES (511.44 MM USD).
  • According to the CBK, foreign exchange reserves decreased 10 BN KES (99 MM USD) last week, at a time the Treasury was due to pay interest to lenders amounted to 200 BN KES (Sh200 billion) Eurobond Kenya issued in February 2018. CBK data shows the reserves stood at 3 BN KES (8.409 BN USD) on February 27 compared to 589.3 BN KES (8.508 BN USD) a week earlier.
  • Motorists in Kenya are headed for tough times as the government prepares a new law early 2020/2021 in July to toll fees for using major national highways and roads. The list of highways, where motorists may soon start paying includes Nairobi-Nakuru, Nairobi-Mombasa, Nairobi-Thika and Nairobi’s Southern Bypass.
  • A team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been in Kenya holding discussions on a new precautionary stand-by arrangement referred to in Article IV consultations. Some economists think that the country needs an independent party to do what Parliament and all other institutions of control failed to do it, including the Controller of Budget.
  • Uganda will have to create more than one million jobs for the young population joining the labor market as the country's workforce is expected to triple between 2030 and 2040.
  • This is due to the country's huge population occasioned by the high fertility rate of 6 children per mother as indicated in the Uganda Jobs Strategy for Inclusive report released by the World Bank (WB).
  • Policy makers and stakeholders across Africa are meeting to chart green economy opportunities in the agriculture sector under the lead of the Switch Africa Green program. The forum under the theme Advancing Green Business and Circular Economy in Africa is organized by the UN Environment Program (UNEP) and Uganda Ministry of Water and Environment.
  • The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) paid 09 BN NGN (118.21 MM USD) as subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol in January 2020. The amount represented a decrease of 22.47% compared to 55.58 BN NGN (152.48 MM USD) paid in December 2019.
Political Events

Political Events

  • Sudan has uncovered 13,000 foreigners of their naturalized Sudanese citizenship in a bid to eradicate the misuse of Sudanese passports delivered under the former regime. The decision was signed by the head of the Sovereign Council upon a request made by the interior minister at a cabinet meeting. However, the daily did not indicate the date of the decree.
  • The Federation of Small and Medium-sized Business Association of Germany announced an an increased interest in direct investments in Zambia following the Embassy’s participation in the recently held economic forum.
Stock Market

Stock Market

  • Investors on Nigeria equities market lost 209 BN NGN (573.39 MM USD) as the market opened trading last Monday following last week’s outbreak of coronavirus in Lagos. The market, which closed on a negative note as All Shares Index (ASI), a value-based index that tracks all share prices, depreciated by 53% to close at 25,816.57 points compared to 2.21% depreciation recorded last Friday. Its Year-to-Date returns currently stand at - 3.82%.
  • The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) main index dropped to a 16-year low last Friday as foreign investors withdrew amid turmoil in global markets over the coronavirus outbreak and profit-taking hit banking stocks. The benchmark NSE 20 Share Index, which captures the movement of select blue chip stocks like Safaricom and East African Breweries Limited (EABL), closed at 2,337 points compared to 2,409 last Thursday.                                    Note:  Weekly values are calculated on Friday of each week.
Companies Transactions

Companies Transactions

  • Property developer Acorn Holdings Limited is creating a development real estate investment trust (D-Reit) through which it will sell part of its ownership in a group of branded student hostels in Nairobi. The company has already completed three hostels in Parklands, Ruaraka and along Jogoo Road. It plans to build six other projects in various locations including Nairobi West and Kasarani which are projected to cost a total of6 BN KES (74.96 MM USD).
  • Absa Bank Kenya has launched a new credit line to boost Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) to address concerns of increasing defaults on loans as a result of government failing to pay suppliers on time. Noting that the bank is committed to finance women business start-ups and other SMEs.
  • Asset manager Amana Capital has invited shareholders to an extraordinary general meeting last Friday to discuss a plan on how to resolve investor losses tied to a commercial paper issued by collapsed retailer Nakumatt. Amana has stopped its clients from withdrawing their funds after investing a significant chunk of assets under management in Nakumatt.
  • Kenya Power share price hit a 17-year low a day after the company revealed its profits had dropped to its lowest level since 2003. The share Thursday dipped 4% at the Nairobi bourse to 2.49 KES (0.025 USD), the lowest level since May 2003. The utility firm announced 92% decrease in profit reaching 262 MM KES (2.58 MM USD) in 2018/2019.
  • Coworking spaces continue to grow and be in demand in South Africa and now The Business Exchange has opened its sixth coworking space. Situated at 140 West Street in Sandton right across the road from the Gautrain Station, the Michelangelo Hotel, Sandton City and Nelson Mandela Square which make it the perfect spot for business travelers or companies who need office space in a prime business location.
  • Zambia African Green Resources (AGR) company has launched an 81 MM USD financing program under which the company and its partners will provide farm supplies and technology to farmers in exchange for grain. Moreover. AGR plans to invest 150 MM USD in Zambia for projects including a 50-megawatt solar farm and irrigation dam.
  • Nedbank, a financial services group in South Africa, reported a decrease in profits by more than 7% due to rising bad debts and weaker demand for loans amid “recessionary-like conditions”. The company reported lower headline earnings of 5 BN ZAR (808.6 MM USD) for the year to end-December. In early trading on Tuesday, its share price was down more than 2% at around 171.24 (11.08 USD).

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